The company that was tagged the “Netflix for books” is closing the book. Literally.
Oyster announced that there online book subscription service will be shutting down and offering refunds to their customers over the next few weeks. As reported:
The news comes as a bit of a surprise—Oyster was one of the major players in the e-book subscription space along with San Francisco startup Scribd and Amazon, which offers all-you-can eat reading through Kindle Unlimited. Unlike Amazon, however, Oyster had the backing of the Big Five publishers—Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster—who offered their books on the service. (The Big Five also work with Scribd.) The e-book subscription business model is based on paying publishers a sum of money after “a fair portion” of a book is read, as well as sharing anonymized reading activity with publishers to help them target readers.”
Unfortunately, this is not a surprise. With better services out there (*cough* your public library), these type of online book subscriptions don’t appear to have a viable future. Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited and Scribd are still continuing, but you have to wonder for how long.
To read the full article, you can find it here.